Lake County, Indiana, is the farthest northwest county within the region. With borders running along Illinois and Lake Michigan, the county is the closest to Chicago within the metropolitan area. As the second-most-populous county in the state, it offers a lifestyle for everyone, with urban, suburban and rural areas. With natural wonders to explore, like the Indiana Dunes National Park, and an area full of history, there’s always something exciting to do and learn.

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Things to Do

Indiana Dunes National Park

The Indiana Dunes stretch 25 miles east along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Enjoy beautiful lakeside beaches and trails surrounded by prairies, forests and, of course, sand dunes. The landscapes along this region are recognized as some of the most biologically diverse in the nation, acting as a home to over 350 species of birds and hundreds of different animals, as well as over 1,400 species of ferns and flowering plants. Go on a camping trip, take a scheduled tour, paddle your way along the Lake Michigan Water Trail, go fishing, snowshoe along the trails, take your furry friend for a walk and so much more at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Lake County Fairgrounds

The fairgrounds are open every day of the year, welcoming walkers, joggers and fishermen. The walking paths are beautifully tree-covered and the fish are always biting in Fancher Lake. There’s no parking or entry fee on non-event days, and there are several historic buildings, such as the Grandstand, and shelters available to rent for picnics, reunions, weddings and other celebrations. Here, you can also find the only covered bridge in Lake County, the Shelhorn Covered Bridge built in 1878 (transported to the fairgrounds in 1933).

Lake County Historical Museum

At the Lake County Historical Museum, located inside the historic Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point, history buffs will find many artifacts and documents representing local history. There are roughly 6,000 square feet of collections, including clothing, military uniforms, Native American artifacts, tools, photographs and documents from every city and town throughout the county. The building itself has been dubbed one of the finest architectural expressions in the state. While it’s 125 years old, the interior and exterior have been faithfully restored to bring it back to its original grandeur.

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